post 11

An ad hoc explanation is one that is constructed with no supporting evidence or argument simply to avoid an unwanted conclusion. Thus, pointing out that a doctrine "ancient" does nothing to show its not ad hoc. For example, take the article "When Prophecy Fails and Faith Persists: A Theoretical overview" or any of the plethora of studies on what ad hoc mechanisms religious believers use to rationalize the failure of a prophecy. I think (and others have argued) those same mechanisms were used by the early disciples of Jesus to rationalize his death (after all, the Jewish Messiah was not prophecied to die before completing his work). You could not then respond to my argument by saying "well, the claims of the disciples represent an ancient tradition and thus cannot be ad hoc." That would be a silly response. A claim can be ad hoc, no matter how old it is or who said it before a given speaker resorted to employing it. ."
the paper he refers to is by Lorne L. Dawson. you can see the abstract and first page here: